As the daughter of a service member, Akilah Miller has lived a nomadic life. Born in Schweinfurt, Germany, she has lived in 6 states and many different cultures. Her favorite state was Hawaii. She was involved in Girl Scouts, sports teams, the West Point STEM program, dance, and many other activities before she discovered music.
She began to learn saxophone to take part in middle school band, and it quickly become her focus. She explains, “It spoke to me.” Her drive and perseverance led her to Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where she has studied both classical and jazz music. Ellington is her 10th school, but “the one that feels most like home.”
Akilah has played with the Washington Jazz Arts Institute as a part of the DC Jazz Festival. She has also played with many Ellington ensembles: Jazz Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and the Radical Elite showband, which serves as the school’s marching band. She has broadened her horizons by learning flute and clarinet.
After high school, Akilah plans to study Music Theory and Composition, to ultimately teach music at the college level. She wants to study ethnomusicology abroad and would like to continue performing both classical and jazz music. She and her family currently live in Washington, D.C.